GENEVA – Geneva Council for Rights and Justice (GCRJ) condemned today the Egyptian authorities’ continued detention of a prominent human rights lawyer and his isolation from the outside world for 70 days in the case that is known as ‘the Yellow Jackets Case’.
The Geneva Council said that it had received statements confirming that the Egyptian authorities had issued a decision to ban the visit of lawyer Mohamed Ramadan, who has been detained since December 10 for “joining a terrorist group, promoting terrorist ideas and false news, and obtaining yellow leaflets and posters to call for demonstrations against the regime.” Similar to the events that took place in France using yellow jackets.
Since his arrest, his detention has been renewed in spite of his numerous complaints he made about having been subjected to torture and having health problems, including blood in the urine and high blood pressure.
Ramadan was arrested for publishing a photo on Facebook for the “yellow jackets” which was simulated by the extensive protest movement that has been in France for several weeks. His retrial was suspended pending the decision of the Supreme Constitutional Court on the legality of the anti-terrorism law under which Ramadan was convicted.
Mohamed Ramadan is a human rights lawyer who provides legal aid to human rights defenders, peaceful protesters, workers and slums inhabitants in Alexandria.
Geneva Council said that the Egyptian authorities must order immediate and unconditional release of lawyer Ramadhan, since his detention represents arbitrary behavior and shows the severity of the repression against public freedoms in Egypt.
It pointed out that this constitutes a clear violation of international conventions and laws prohibiting arbitrary detention such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and other relevant international instruments, such as article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The Council cautioned that the lawyer Ramadan was detained solely for expressing his views and because of his work as a human rights lawyer, while he was subjected to ill-treatment during his detention, after his lawyers reported that he was blindfolded and tied with chains and that a prison guard beat him During his detention in a detention centre of the National Security Sector in Alexandria.
Two of his lawyers, who was questioned on 22 January, confirmed that on 17 January he had been beaten on the stomach by a prison guard when she intervened to defend another prisoner who had been physically assaulted.
The Alexandria Criminal Court previously sentenced Ramadan in April 2017 to 10 years’ imprisonment in absentia, followed by five years under house arrest and a five-year ban on using the Internet because of a Facebook comment.
He has been convicted of a series of national security charges formulated in vague terms, including insulting the president, misuse of social media platforms, and incitement to violence under the country’s strict anti-terrorism law.
The Geneva Convention on the Rights and Justice of the Judiciary considers that the issue of Ramadan, torture and ill-treatment and arbitrary detention is an example of the crackdown by the authorities against peaceful critics and calls for effective international action to release the Egyptian authorities to respect their human rights obligations and protect public freedoms under international conventions and laws.